Risa M. Chalfin is counsel and a trial attorney in Wilentz’s Business and Commercial Litigation group. Risa’s litigation practice is focused on a wide range of complex business litigation matters before state, Chancery, and federal courts. 

Her depth of practice in the Chancery division permits her to serve regularly as a trusted advocate in matters arising from partnership and shareholder disputes, restrictive covenants, and probate litigation. She manages contentious matters for large businesses involving breaches of fiduciary duties, contractual dispute, real estate litigation, construction-defect issues, legal malpractice, and fraud.

Risa has extensive experience as a trial lawyer and her approach to litigation and conflict resolution is informed by her experience and her ability to guide clients to the most efficient way forward for resolving disputes. In the United States, very few civil lawsuits result in a trial on the merits. If there is a possibility that a case may be resolved by trial, however, one may want to do what he or she can to stack the odds favorably. Risa is also adept in negotiating thoughtful and equitable pre-trial resolutions and securing motions to dismiss.

Each year since 2015, Risa has been named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list. 

Risa sits on the firm’s Political Contributions committee, advising members and clients as to the implications of contributions in accordance with local and state pay-to-play ordinances. Actively engaged in the legal community, she serves as a Trustee of Trial Attorneys of New Jersey and previously served as a Trustee of the Middlesex County Bar Association from 2013 to 2020. A leader in her alumni network, Risa serves as Co-Administrative Vice President of her class and interviews prospective students for the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the firm, Risa served as a law clerk to the Honorable Glenn Berman, Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. During her term, Judge Berman presided over the highly publicized State v. Ravi trial, which addressed the issue of bias intimidation and cyber bullying of Rutgers University students. While attending law school, Risa interned for the Honorable Barry T. Albin, Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, New York County Defender Services, and the National Football League.


  • “Registration To Do Business In A State Is Not Enough To Establish General Jurisdiction Over A Law Firm,” ABA, November 2017
  • “Law Firm Organized As A Limited Liability Partnership Has No Obligation To Maintain Professional Malpractice Insurance During Law Firm’s Period Of Dissolution And Windup Of Affairs,” ABA Lawyers’ Professional Liability eAdvisory, July 2016

Published Decisions

  • Montclair State University v. County of Passaic & City of Clifton, A-0614-19, 2021 WL 1499949 (App. Div. Apr. 16, 2021)
  • John Riello v. Buhler Dodge, Hudson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Flemington Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Mt. Ephram Chrysler Dodge Ram, Route 18 Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Freehold Dodge, Johnson Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Bob Novick Chrysler Jeep Ram, Cherry Hill Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Ramsey Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Cox Automotive, Auto Trader, FCA USA, LLC, Sea View Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram, City Auto Park, & Sport Hyundai Dodge Ram, No. A-2069-18T3, 2019 WL 6486885 (App. Div. Dec. 3, 2019)
  • Kammerman v. Kammerman, No. A-1443-18T2, 2019 WL 4409723 (App. Div. Sept. 16, 2019)
  • Wood v. Wood, No. A-4068-17T2, 2019 WL 2152584 (App. Div. May 16, 2019)
  • Matter of Legato, Kenyon and Walter, 229 N.J. 173 (2017)
  • Powerhouse First, LLC v. Waldo Jersey City, LLC, 2016 WL 3503150 (App. Div. June 28, 2016)
  • Tried to verdict and obtained judgment in its entirety for large real estate developer on breach of contract matter.
  • Defended ex-CEO of bankrupt hospital in a multi-million dollar claim against directors and officers.
  • Successfully brought and defended estate litigation matters and will contests by way of order to show cause.
  • Successfully defeated multiple petitions for certification before the Supreme Court to uphold Appellate Court decisions.
  • Spearheaded review of large e-discovery document review, responsible for coordinating multi-firm efforts bringing both efficiency and effectiveness to the process.

Also of Interest